Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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THREE WEEKS OF CHRISTMAS
It’s hard to believe, folks…but Christmas is only three weeks away. I’m not sure how the year got by us so quickly but, as I look at the calendar, I start feeling a little anxiety. So much to do… so little time to get it all done.
I don’t know why I let things go ‘til the end. Christmas comes the same time every year. It’s not like I don’t have any warning. I just kind of ignore it until it’s staring back at me on a calendar. Despite the anxiety for me personally, and all of the extra work it creates, it’s still my favourite time of year.
For the next three weeks, it’s like everyone, young and old, realizes that they don’t know which side of Santa’s ‘naughty or nice’ list they are on. Everyone smiles at each other, holds doors open for one another, and even yields to each other in traffic. We’re all in a hurry to get things done, yet we have patience for each other. We realize that everyone else is busy too.
It’s also the one time of year that we are all aware of those that are less fortunate than ourselves. We recognize that not everyone is as blessed as we are and we reach out. The Airdrie Lioness puts together hundreds of hampers filled with food and incidentals to ensure families have food on the table and a few gifts for the kids. The Airdrie Food Bank is able to help a lot more folks this time of year who have, perhaps, lost their jobs. These organizations can better help others because we all recognize the need to support them during this time of year. Most of us recognize the need year-round, yet we all act on fulfilling that need much more at Christmas time.
Then, there are the endless parties and festivities. I swear, I gain at least ten pounds every December. It is virtually impossible for me to refrain from partaking in all of the incredible baking that folks do. Christmas cookies are my weakness, especially the shortbread. I can’t just eat one. And if there are a variety of various cookies, I must have one of each. Of course, I’m usually consuming these after I have already indulged in a big plate of turkey, stuffing, and all of the fixings, drowning in rich, thick gravy.
Then there’s the annual Santa Claus Parade. The parade is actually this Saturday, folks. I love seeing all of the decorated floats and the festive lights that adorn them. Thousands of people will line-up along Main Street to greet the Jolly Old Elf, himself, Santa. I know he’s not the real reason we celebrate Christmas, yet I love the magic of possibilities and imagination he brings out in everyone. I don’t care how old you are, you are never too old to take a selfie while sitting on Santa’s knee.
I guess the real reason I love this time of year is what it does to the human spirit. For a few weeks, we become better people. To our families, our friends and too complete strangers, we become more courteous, thoughtful and giving. I know I’m not the only one who is looking at a calendar this week and saying to myself, “Yikes! Just three weeks to go!” But knowing why I love this time of year makes me wish we all woke up Boxing Day and said to ourselves, “Wow! Only fifty-two weeks to go!” Imagine if, all year-round, we all acted as if Christmas time was just a few weeks away.
I’ll see you folks at the Santa Claus Parade this Saturday evening. The parade runs south on Main Street from Sixth Ave. to Ridgegate Way, then works its way north on Towerlane Drive and First Street NW ending back at Fletcher Park. The parade route will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at 4:30 P.M with the parade starting at 5 P.M. You’ll want to get there early and, if you are in walking distance, you’ll want to walk as parking is limited given the size of the crowd expected.
For those who would like to help out a struggling family by donating to the Lioness Christmas Hamper program, you can call them for more info at 403-660-1569 or visit them online at www.AirdrieLionessClub.com. For those wishing to donate to the food bank, they can be reached at (403) 948-0063 or visit them online at www.AirdrieFoodBank.com